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- 24 September 2014 /
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Revelry in Key West is to reach a new height of "animeted" excess during the 3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade set for the night of Saturday, Oct. 25, in the island's historic Old Town.
The procession is the highlight of the Oct. 17-26 Fantasy Fest costuming and masking celebration, themed "Animeted Dreams & Adventures" in salute to traditional Japanese anime and other creative animation.
The flamboyant parade typically includes more than 50 decorated and motorized floats, many towering two stories high and featuring music, light shows and oversized moving parts. Accompanying them are marching groups, island-style bands and street dancers garbed in elaborate sequined and feathered costumes.
For the 2014 procession, event organizers encourage participants to draw inspiration from the festival theme. They might design costumes and floats around characters from stylized anime, comic books like the "Guardians of the Galaxy" series, role-playing "cosplay" or animated film blockbusters such as "Despicable Me."
Standouts in recent Fantasy Fest parades have included a troupe of Wonder Woman look-alikes who "battled evildoers" during a spirited dance number, a float that starred fictional superhero Batman rising 40 feet above the crowd and a "Crustaceans on Vacation" entry peopled by "crabs" with huge claws.
Pre-parade activities are to begin at noon Saturday with the open-air Duval Street Promenade on Key West's famed "main street." Attractions for merrymakers include vendors offering masking and costuming finery, food, libations and live entertainment.
At 7 p.m. the parade is to begin at Southard and Whitehead streets. Floats, bands and other parade participants are to travel down Whitehead toward the Gulf of Mexico, turn onto Front Street and then proceed the mile down Duval to the Atlantic Ocean. Past parades have drawn more than 60,000 spectators to enjoy the pageantry.
Festival and parade information: fantasyfest.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest
Posted On: September 24, 2014